Argon Gas Fill for Windows: How it’s Made and Benefits of Argon Insulation?

Argon Gas Fill for Windows: How it’s Made and Benefits of Argon Insulation?

The window industry is always searching for energy efficient improvements to windows. In recent years, inert gas fills between panes of glass have increased the performance of windows by reducing air leaks. Learn more about benefits of using argon gas in windows and unexpected risks of the production process. Argon Gas Fill for Windows Argon (Ar) is a colorless, odorless, and non-toxic gas. Ar makes up one percent of the earth’s atmosphere naturally. Alongside the more expensive krypton gas, it’s the most commonly used gas fill for windows. Placing gas between window panes helps fill thermal holes in the building envelope through which air leaks out. During the summer, cool air escapes through the window so your AC needs to work harder to keep you comfortable. In winter, hot air escapes through thermal holes, so it takes more energy to keep you warm. Reducing thermal holes by replacing inefficient windows or replacing aged caulk creates a tighter envelope with less potential for air to leak. Along with gas fills, energy efficient windows feature low-e glazing, which blocks solar heat from entering your home. Windows that have an argon or krypton gas fill and low-e glazing have a much higher R-value (the measure of insulation) than old windows. Money spent replacing windows will be recouped through lower energy bills. During the manufacturing process, argon gas is pumped between the window panes. You may spot two tiny holes on the spacer inside the window — an entry hole for argon gas and an exit hole for oxygen. As the argon gas enters the space between glass, it pushes out oxygen. This occurs because it... read more
Storing Liquid Nitrogen in Laboratories: Which Safety Precautions and Sensors Will Protect your Employees?

Storing Liquid Nitrogen in Laboratories: Which Safety Precautions and Sensors Will Protect your Employees?

Liquid nitrogen is frequently used in scientific research, chemistry classes, and even culinary arts nowadays. The substance is safe when properly stored, and as long as everyone follows safety protocols while handling the liquid nitrogen. As part of an environmental health and safety review (EHS review), learn safety considerations regarding storing liquid nitrogen in the lab setting.  EHS Review: Understand Liquid Nitrogen Risks Liquid nitrogen is known for its cryogenic properties. It can freeze things incredibly quickly. This property also applies to people, so staff must take safety precautions when handling liquid nitrogen. Even seconds of exposure can damage skin and eye tissue, and may cause frostbite.  Staff should never transport liquid nitrogen in open containers. They should never reach directly into vats of the substance.  The main health risk with liquid nitrogen occurs when the liquid vaporizes into gas, which happens if it leaks into the atmosphere. Nitrogen expands in volume when it turns into gas, and depletes oxygen from the air. The gas has no odor or color, so there is no way staff can tell a leak has occurred without an alarm system. If a nitrogen leak occurs, oxygen levels will fall below safe thresholds. This causes severe cognitive and respiratory problems, as well as death by asphyxiation.  Liquid nitrogen, like other cryogenic liquids, needs a pressure-relief valve during storage. Without such a valve, internal pressure could cause the storage tank to explode. Liquid nitrogen should be stored in a room that has proper ventilation as a precaution around leaks. If a leak occurs, the ventilation system can help shunt gases outdoors, protecting the health of workers.  How... read more
University Environmental Health & Safety Departments: How to Handle Compressed Nitrogen and Cryogenics

University Environmental Health & Safety Departments: How to Handle Compressed Nitrogen and Cryogenics

*Click here to read more about product An explosion at a university research lab in Hawaii last year highlights the dangers of working with compressed gas and the need for safety equipment on campus. Learn the dangers of working with compressed gas, how an oxygen deficiency monitor can help, and campus safety best practices. Compressed Gas on Campus: Uses and Dangers Compressed gases including nitrogen, argon, and oxygen are widely used on campuses. These gases have many practical and educational uses across educational institutions. While the level of risk varies across schools, a few examples will illustrate the benefits and the risks of using compressed gas on campus. Argon gas is critical in the 3D printing process, which campus design, fine arts, applied arts, and sciences may use. Culinary programs may use liquid nitrogen for cooking and freezing, and chemistry labs may use N2 as well. Autoclaves, which sterilize equipment, are regularly used in scientific, medical, and industrial programs. Sports programs and physical therapy training programs may use cryotherapy for injury recovery. Cryotherapy chambers rely on nitrogen to chill the air. The chambers can turn deadly if a nitrogen leak occurs. These gases may be used by facilities personnel, researchers, faculty members or teaching assistants and students assisting with teaching labs. No matter which gas students are working with, they are at risk if the gas is not handled, used, stored, or transported properly. As these few examples illustrate, there are many opportunities for dangerous leaks, explosions, or fires on campus if safety protocol isn’t followed. Many schools find the gases are not properly stored, which leaves everyone on campus in danger. A recent safety bulletin... read more
Titanium Demand on Rise for Additive Manufacturing Printing: How it’s Made? Titanium Plasma Atomization

Titanium Demand on Rise for Additive Manufacturing Printing: How it’s Made? Titanium Plasma Atomization

Plasma atomization is used in many applications, including 3D printing. First developed in 1998, this technique has risen to become the industry standard process for creating reactive metal powders suitable for 3D printing. Learn how plasma atomization works and why you need an oxygen monitor to stay safe with plasma atomization.  How Plasma Atomization Works Plasma atomization is used not only in 3D printing, but in any circumstance where powder metallurgy is needed. Other uses include spray coating, cold spray, and metal injection molding.  To pulverize metal, wire is fed through a tube, then hit by three plasma torches capable of reaching temperatures of 10,000 degrees Celsius. As the wire liquefies and melts, individual droplets shear off and fall into a chamber filled with argon gas and cooled by water. When the drops of metal hit the argon, they solidify into spherical droplets. This process produces a fine, uniform metal powder. After the wire has been transformed into droplets, the powder is sieved to ensure uniformity. This is key to the success of the 3D printing process, which relies upon fine grade, uniform powder.  Titanium (Ti), Nitinol, Niobium, Aluminum, and other reactive metals and their alloys can all successfully be atomized through this process. Variables in the plasma atomization process allow workers to create droplets of different sizes, for different end uses.   PureAire offers an oxygen analyzer, which many 3D printing manufacturers utilize. This device helps monitor the levels of oxygen in ppm, from 0 to 1000, while the atomization process takes place.  It’s important to keep oxygen levels low while the Ti and other base metals are being turned into powder, as this ensures... read more
Nitrogen Refrigerated Trucks a New Trend? An Alternative to Diesel Powered  Refrigeration

Nitrogen Refrigerated Trucks a New Trend? An Alternative to Diesel Powered Refrigeration

Thanks to technological innovations, the food distribution industry has a greener way to protect refrigerated food during transit: Nitrogen refrigeration. The existing system relies on diesel-powdered mechanical refrigeration units. Although these units are effective, they release significant levels of noise and air pollution. While the new innovations decrease emissions to safeguard the environment, there is a hidden health risk transportation companies must take into account. How Liquid Nitrogen Refrigeration Works The new system uses a liquid nitrogen system to cryogenically chill food. A storage tank mounted underneath the truck can be easily refilled when empty. Since the tank is stored outside the truck, the liquid nitrogen never comes into direct contact with the food. To cool the refrigerated container, liquid nitrogen first passes through a heat exchanger. As the nitrogen moves through the heat exchanger, it evaporates. High-powered fans inside the container circulate the chilled air through the compartment, helping keep all food safely chilled below the temperature danger zone. The traditional mechanical refrigeration system emits significant noise while in operation. Even when the truck itself is off, the refrigeration unit can cause as much as 80 dB of noise, which is roughly as much noise as a busy urban environment. This noise level exceeds the typical noise pollution levels in cities, thus limiting the hours when truckers can make deliveries. Additional downsides to the mechanical refrigeration system include reliance on harmful refrigeration chemicals and expensive maintenance and repair costs. In contrast, the liquid nitrogen system falls beneath the noise pollution thresholds, so deliveries can be made at any time. This benefits both truckers and restaurants, grocery stores, and other businesses who may want to accept deliveries... read more
Neon Gas and Where it is Used. PureAire Oxygen Deficiency Monitors for Safety and Why a Monitor May be Required?

Neon Gas and Where it is Used. PureAire Oxygen Deficiency Monitors for Safety and Why a Monitor May be Required?

Neon gas has a range of uses in industry, including in the popular business signs advertising stores as open. Explore some of the less well-known ways to use neon and learn how use of the gas may require installation of an oxygen deficiency monitor to protect worker safety.   Uses for Neon Gas Neon gas can be filtered from helium using activated charcoal in a low temperature environment, or through the selective adsorption method. Once filtered out, neon can be used in the manufacturing of television tubes, plasma screens, and more.  Ne or neon gas is used for advertising signs, as are other noble gases. Neon is also used for television tubes, plasma screens, wave meter tubes, inside lightning arresters, and with high-voltage indicators. The gas itself has no color until an electric charge is applied that alters the structure of the Ne molecules. Neon gas only produces a reddish orange color light, so other inert gases are used to make other colors. In plasma screens, individual neon lights interact with phosphors within the screen to product the vibrant colors. This interaction allows neon to make other colors.  In its liquid form, neon is extremely cold, and can act as a stronger refrigerant than liquid hydrogen or helium. Thus, the gas can be converted to liquid for use in cryogenic health tanks or other applications. There are potential cryonics applications for neon as well.  In recent years, noble gases including neon have been used to detect fracking leaks. Neon can be tracked as it moved, illustrating the path of leaked methane from the frack site. Neon is a good choice for this purpose since... read more
Are You An OLED Display Manufacturer? Why PureAire Monitoring Systems May Be Your Next Partner

Are You An OLED Display Manufacturer? Why PureAire Monitoring Systems May Be Your Next Partner

OLED — organic LED — is a top desired feature in smartphones, yet manufacturers do not have the production capacity needed to meet industry demands. Since OLED devices have stronger contrast, a faster response time, a better quality, and a lower cost, there are many reasons for consumers as well as manufacturers to embrace this trend. To build capacity needed to product OLED screens for smartphones without sacrificing employee safety, semiconductor plants need two devices: An oxygen analyzer and an oxygen monitor. OLED Manufacturing and its Risks  A good display is one of the strongest motivators to purchase a device, such as a television or a smartphone. The superior quality the OLED devices deliver will be a major driver for consumers, if these screens can make it onto a wide array of device types. Next-generation OLED screens can even curve or roll up, like a newspaper. Kateeva is a company worth noting, as they are advancing OLED displays with over 200 million raised since 2008, using their YIELDjet FLEX printing tools. Two years after its debut, Kateeva’s YIELDjet FLEX tool is the undisputed leader in the industry. Kateeva’s President & COO was named “Inventor of the Year” for 2016 by the Silicon Valley Intellectual Property Law Association. At present, only a handful of smartphone screens come with an organic LED. Apple hopes to ship all iPhones with OLEDs by 2018, but some doubt that facilities will have enough production to meet demands. At present, there is only one producer, Samsung, who is on board to provide the OLED screens. Efficient OLEDs are made using either an inkjet printing process or a process known as organic vapor phase deposition (OVPD). In the OVPD process, an inert gas (usually nitrogen or N2) is used as a “carrier gas” to transport the organics... read more
Nitrogen Demand Increases for Semiconductor: How Safe Are You?

Nitrogen Demand Increases for Semiconductor: How Safe Are You?

As users demand ever-smaller smartphones and better televisions, semiconductor manufacturing plants are tasked with developing new products faster and using new materials. Key to the continued success of the semiconductor industry are inert gases, which include nitrogen and argon. When used safely, both nitrogen and argon play a number of important roles within the semiconductor plant. Yet, these gases poses a health hazard for employees if a leak occurs. How and Why Nitrogen is used in Semiconductor Manufacturing Plants  Nitrogen is used throughout the manufacturing process, from purging pumps to abatement. Nitrogen is also used in the process, especially now that fab size is growing. In a modern semiconductor manufacturing plant, as much as 50,000 cubic meters of nitrogen gas are used every hour. To meet this demand, semiconductor manufacturing plants are installing nitrogen generators onsite. Generators mean a cheap, efficient, and always-ready supply of nitrogen gas to supply production. As long as nitrogen gas is stored safely in the generator and used properly, there is no health risk. Yet if the generator or supply lines develop a leak, nitrogen gas can escape and deplete oxygen in the environment. Since nitrogen gas is both odorless and colorless, there is no way that staff can monitor their risk. Along with nitrogen, argon gas is used in semiconductor manufacturing, most notable as a sputtering gas. Like nitrogen, argon gas depletes oxygen from the environment. Like nitrogen, the gas has no color or odor. In a closed area, the gas can deplete oxygen and cause respiratory problems and eventual suffocation. How an Oxygen Analyzer Can Protect Staff Working in a Semiconductor Manufacturing Plant  If either nitrogen or argon were... read more
Tunnel Freezing and Flash Freezing Food with Nitrogen: Oxygen Monitors and Why They May be Required

Tunnel Freezing and Flash Freezing Food with Nitrogen: Oxygen Monitors and Why They May be Required

New developments in cryogenic freezing are transforming the frozen food industry by making it easier to freeze all sorts of items quickly while retaining the highest nutritional value. Cryogenic and tunnel freezers are easy to use, yet they pose a hidden health risk. Learn why you may need an O2 monitor if your frozen food manufacturing facility relies on cryogenic freezers. How Cryogenic Freezers Work Cryogenic freezers allow for continuous freezing of food, increasing output without requiring a large amount of space. Compared to mechanical freezers, which take longer to freeze products, they increase both the production and the quality with a low investment of capital. In particular, cryogenic freezers are useful for freezing par-baked goods, which are partially baked before being frozen for storage. Par-baked items allow fast-food restaurants, supermarkets, sandwich shops, cafes, and other institutions to offer fresh, healthy baked goods without needing to bake from-scratch every day. For a commercial baking facility, investing in a cryogenic freezer is the best way to increase their output, grow their business, and become more profitable. Cryogenic freezers work by using liquid nitrogen to quickly chill items to safe temperatures for frozen storage. As in any environment where liquid nitrogen is present, there is a danger of oxygen depletion and asphyxiation. Thus, it is always a good idea to have an O2 deficiency monitor present onsite to protect the health of employees. One subset of cryogenic freezers, the tunnel freezer, uses a continuous freezing model of a conveyor belt, an injection system, and an exhaust system to vent gases. When the texture of the finished product is paramount, as in... read more
A Nitrogen Culinary Experience and How to Remain Safe with Use of Oxygen Monitors

A Nitrogen Culinary Experience and How to Remain Safe with Use of Oxygen Monitors

As modernist cuisine has become more popular, restaurant and home chefs alike are turning to liquid nitrogen to create spheres, gels, foams, and even ice cream. While liquid nitrogen can be safely used in a range of culinary applications, there are important safety risks to be aware of when working with this substance. The Hidden Dangers of Liquid Nitrogen in the Kitchen Nitrogen can help chefs freeze alcohol, which doesn’t freeze under freezer temperatures. Nitrogen also creates a very rich ice cream, since it makes superfine ice crystals. By using liquid nitrogen to freeze foods, chefs can keep more flavor in the food and preserve higher amounts of the food’s nutrients. It’s important to note that nitrogen is used only to alter the state of food. The nitrogen itself is not consumed. While it is no wonder that nitrogen has become so popular in the kitchen, the substance can pose a health hazard. Liquid nitrogen is extremely cold. If the substance were to spill on your clothing or get in your eyes, it could cause severe burns. Thus, many culinary workers wear an extra layer of clothing (such as an apron) to prevent nitrogen from causing skin burns. Special gloves protect the hands, and safety goggles prevent the eyes from nitrogen burns. While many are aware of the burn danger from liquid nitrogen, there is a more insidious hazard. When liquid nitrogen meets the air, it starts to evaporate and turns into nitrogen gas. Nitrogen gas is a known oxygen displacer, so the more gas that escapes, the less oxygen the air has. Quickly, nitrogen gas can deplete the air to low... read more